Sunday, April 16, 2006

John and Lucie Collins - Open Up Your Heart

Hear The Track Here

Open Up Your Heart is my third encounter with John and Lucie Collins and - judging by my present state of mind - by far the best track I have heard from them so far. Their Voice In The Night (February 2006) put me in mind of the sublime Billie Holiday and was a very enjoyable listening experience whereas I Am Here (March 2006) exhibited all the signs of being a 'show tune' which is something I absolutely don't enoy although I could still appreciate the skill and quality these artists bring to their work. After all, there was nothing wrong with I Am Here, just me balking at my intense dislike of anything that reeks of modern day 'musicals', especially the staged variety made popular by Sir Andrew Lloyd 'aren't I so clever' Webber.

No such predjudice clouded my enjoyment of Open Up Your Heart because it is a very modern sounding, infectious pop song that presses all my pleasure buttons. As the song comment says 'listen, feel good and sing along'. There's no doubt that this track has that elusive sing along factor and is a fine example of the skill, dexterity and sophistication this duo always bring to their music whatever the genre. As I've said a million times I am a sucker for a good good song and this one is a doozy of the first order, beautifully scored and arranged in a wide open, warm mix that draws you straight into the centre of the action.

I'd try a stab in the dark here and say that this is John himself on the vocals and seeing as this is the first time I have heard him emote, I'd say his wife has competition. The kinda carribean style and tone of the track perfectly suits his chocolate flavoured vocal chords, the mix complimenting those tones and smothering them with warmth and friendliness. What won the track that final spurt was, for me, the backing vocal which at times adopted a gospel like quality that curled up my toes and made my neck hairs stand up. It is fair to say that John and Lucie have a decidedly middle of the road approach to their music but equally fair to say that it does throw up some interesting and very worthwhile moments and this is assuredly one of them. A top notch song with all the trimmings and then some although not without a couple of niggles (backing vocal too low as it begins, a bit of odd extraneous noise) but that's chump change. Grab it now because Open Up Your Heart may make your summer feeling come on that little bit faster.


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